Protestors cheer for the continuation of DACA. (ALC News/Edited by Josephine Kim)
Diamond Bar High School

DACA: What it is and why it needs to be kept

On Sept. 5, President Trump announced a possible end to the Obama-era program, DACA, that currently protects around 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.

As the acronym rapidly spreads around hundreds of news and media platforms, it is essential for all of America to understand what DACA is and how is represents the basic principles of our country.

DACA, formed through executive order by former President Barack Obama in 2012, stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” The program allows “Dreamers”—individuals who have immigrated to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have lived in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007—to stay in the U.S without being deported as long as specific standards (a high school diploma, GED certification, or current enrollment in school or the military) are met.

Although it does not provide a “legal status,” Tal Kopan from CNN states that “nearly 800,000 individuals” who are under DACA’s umbrella have “started families, pursued careers and studied in schools and universities across the United States” and “have never known another home that the U.S.”

In response to Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, mixed emotions of from all people, including Trump himself, are apparent.

Quoted from the week before the decision of pulling the plug from DACA, Trump stated, “We love the Dreamers.” One week later, he promoted his “great heart for these folks,” yet proceeded to announce that “long term it’s going to be the right solution” as he tweeted at Congress, urging them to pass a replacement program for DACA in the next six months.

screen shot 2017 09 05 at 9 49 37 pm DACA: What it is and why it needs to be kept
President Trump’s tweet to Congress.

Even Obama has spoken up about Trump’s DACA decision through a three-page statement that emphasized the importance of securing DACA, which explicitly stated that the “cruel” decision is about “basic decency.” With this, he asserted that “This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people— and who we want to be” in his final statements.

So, as peoples of the America where all are “created equal,” “deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will” and “share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation,” we must understand the necessity of this program and stand firm for the rights of all in order to “reach that more perfect union.”

Learn more and fight back: http://weareheretostay.org/

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